Joining Forces, Thinking Big
By Mary Daily
Published Jul 1, 2014 8:00 AM
When no single donor came forward to name one of the classroom buildings in the Anderson School complex, the school's leaders knew they could count on a group of visionary entrepreneurs.
"Let's get some entrepreneurs involved." That's what Peter Mullin and Leonard Weil '43 proposed to Clayburn LaForce M.A. '58, Ph.D. '62 and Al Osborne in 1995. The challenge was finding a $5-million gift to name one of the classroom buildings in UCLA Anderson School of Management's new complex.
At the time, Mullin was chair of Anderson's board of visitors, Weil was a board member and an adjunct faculty member, LaForce was dean and Osborne, founder and director of the school's Entrepreneurial Studies Center. The cluster of impressive brick buildings was about to open, marking a new era for the school that since the 1960s had occupied the current home of the Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Many generous donors had made the new facility possible. The executive education building would be named for Carol and James A. Collins '50, the library for Maxine and Eugene Rosenfeld '56, the convocation hall for Carolbeth '59 and Lester Korn '59, M.B.A. '60, and one classroom building for Leon '42 and Toby Gold. (Later, other buildings were named for B.J. and Clark Cornell, and Mullin.) But no one had offered a gift large enough to name the building that would house entrepreneurial studies.
Osborne, now senior associate dean, liked Weil's and Mullin's suggestion. "The idea," he says, "was to find 10 people to contribute $500,000 each. We would recognize them on plaques in the building's atrium as founders of Entrepreneurs Hall. We soon realized that if we doubled the numbers, we could also endow the Entrepreneurial Studies Center."
LaForce, Osborne and Mullin asked John E. Anderson '40, the legendary entrepreneur for whom the school is named; Andy Galef and William Cockrum, who were then chair and vice chair, respectively, of the board of the Entrepreneurial Studies Center; and other friends of the school to suggest possible donors.
Eventually, 27 made gifts totaling $10 million. "Entrepreneurs Hall" was etched into the stone above the building's entrance and the Entrepreneurial Studies Center became the Harold and Pauline Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Today, the Price Center is a global leader in entrepreneurial education, not only in its comprehensive curriculum and research support, but also in such experiential learning innovations as the Student Investment Fund and the Knapp Venture Competition. The center has been active in executive education programs with social impact, particularly in early-childhood education and community health. On campus, the center supports Startup UCLA, pilots undergraduate courses in entrepreneurship and offers seminars for faculty and graduate students who seek to commercialize their innovations.
"Entrepreneurs think big, which is just what they did with the Entrepreneurs Hall campaign," Osborne says. "Now, with the Centennial Campaign, we have a chance to envision even greater horizons. I know we can count on our friends and alumni to meet the 2019 campaign goals, and I'm excited about what we will achieve."